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David Warner discloses why he chose Abdul Samad over Abhishek Sharma to bowl last over to MS Dhoni

Dixit Bhargav

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Abdul Samad: Playing only his second IPL match, the all-rounder from Jammu & Kashmir oozed composure in a daunting situation.

Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner lauded his rookie players in Priyam Garg and Abhishek Sharma whose 77-run partnership for the fifth wicket ended up changing the course of the match for their team.

From being reduced to 69/4 in the 11th over to scoring 164/5 in 20 overs, the Garg (51*) and Sharma (31) proved their mettle in a situation when their team needed them the most.

“I said it in my press conference – when these guys [inexperienced middle-order batsmen] don’t get opportunity to bat time, it’s going to be difficult for them. I asked them what they thought was a good total, they said 150, we got 160-170,” Warner said during the post-match presentation ceremony.

David Warner discloses why he chose Abdul Samad over Abhishek Sharma

Having bowled well for a large part of the second innings, Sunrisers’ bowlers had to defend 44 runs in the last two overs. With an over left for both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed, Warner appeared to have kept his best two options ready for the crunch situation.

However, an injury to Bhuvneshwar after bowling a lone delivery of the 19th over forced Ahmed to bowl the remaining five deliveries. With Super Kings requiring 28 runs to win off the last over, Warner had to pick one between his all-rounders in Sharma and Abdul Samad.

While Sharma had conceded just four runs in his only over, Samad was economical as well with bowling figures of 3-0-21-1 until then. Warner’s decision to proceed with the less experienced Samad reaped fruits for SRH as they registered their second IPL 2020 win at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

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“I backed him [Abdul Samad]. I had no option. With Khaleel [Ahmed] there, with five balls to bowl, we tried to kill the game there. Could have given it [last over] to Abhishek [Sharma], but I felt with his [Abdul Samad] height and how he bowled, I’d go with him.

“This wicket was a little bit bad as compared to the last one we played here. You don’t really get that length to pull. It was good to see a bit of swing early on. It was nice to see our guys back themselves – that was my message to these youngsters,” Warner added.

About the author

Dixit Bhargav

Dixit Bhargav


Born and brought up in Pathankot, Dixit Bhargav is an engineering and sports management graduate who works as a Cricket Editor at The SportsRush. Having written more than 10,000 articles across more than five years at TSR, his first cricketing memory dates back to 2002 when former India captain Sourav Ganguly had waved his jersey at the historic Lord’s balcony. What followed for an 8-year-old was an instant adulation for both Ganguly and the sport. The optimist in him is waiting for the day when Punjab Kings will win their maiden Indian Premier League title. When not watching cricket, he is mostly found in a cinema hall watching a Punjabi movie.

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